Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA)

Critical Dates

TBA

Release of 2023 Grant Guidelines

Third Quarter 2021

2022 Outcomes

Wednesday 8 September 2021

DECRA 2023 Applications open in RMS

Thursday 7 October 2021

Eligibility Exemption Request due to RIC (if applicable)

18-20 October 2021

Submit review ready application to RIC 

Monday 1 November 2021

Request not to assess due to RIC (if applicable)

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Request not to assess due to ARC

Thursday 11 November 2021

DE23 Final Application Submission due to RIC 

Wednesday 17 November 2021

DE23 Final Applications due to ARC

28 February - 15 March 2021

DE23 Rejoinders 

Third Quarter 2022

2023 Outcomes

Overview

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) supports early career researchers who have typically received their PhD in the last five years or have eligible commensurate career disruption.

The DECRA scheme aims to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers;
  • support national and international research collaboration;
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas;
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways; and
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments.

Funding

The scheme provides funding for up to 200 projects per round. Funding is awarded by the ARC of up to $156,194 per annum for three years, with a per annum salary contribution of $106,194, including 30 per cent on-costs, and up to $50,000 per annum for project costs. Project costs can be used to hire research assistants, support HDR students, or fund equipment, consumables, field research, travel, and dissemination costs. See Section 5 of the  Grant Guidelines for more information.

Candidates may be nominated for the DECRA twice over the period in which they are eligible. This includes applications that are withdrawn after the grant closing date or those that are deemed ineligible.

ACTIVE PROJECTS AND ACTIVE PROJECT ASSESSMENT  DATE

An Active Project  refers to an ARC Project that is receiving funding according to the terms of the original Funding Agreement, or has any carryover funds approved by the ARC, or an approved variation to the Project’s end date. Therefore, if a project has carried forward any funding and the end date has changed, the NEW end date determines if the project is active. Active projects can be viewed via the applicants RMS profile by selecting Person Profile > Current ARC Projects> End Date.  Please note that projects with Final Reports due are not considered active projects.

The ARC will calculate active projects as at the closing time of submission of Proposals (and may calculate this rule again as other scheme rounds’ announcements are made and End of Year Reports are submitted.)

The term Active Project Assessment Date is a scheme-specific date when Project and Proposal limit eligibility is assessed by the ARC. This date is important as it is used to assess applicant's cross-scheme eligibility, i.e. whether they are within the limits of the number of ARC applications and projects a participant can be named on.

SchemeFunding Commencement DateActive Project Assessment DateExample 1
DECRA 20221-Jan-221-Jul-22DECRA candidates can apply for a DE22 while holding two Discovery Projects (DPs). However, they cannot commence the DE22 until they have relinquished a DP (or their role on the project) in order to meet the limit of one Discovery Project and one Fellowship. If one or both projects end prior to the active project assessment date the fellow will not be required to take further steps to ensure their eligibility.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The criteria weighting is as followed:

  • Investigator/Capability: 50%
  • Project Quality and Innovation: 25%
  • Benefit: 15%
  • Feasibility: 10%

REQUEST NOT TO ASSESS

If you have a conflict of interest with a researcher from an external institution it is possible to request that they not be considered as a potential detailed assessor for your application. More details about this can be found on the ARC webpage. Please note the Rule relating to ARC College of Experts members:

Grant Guidelines Section 8.17: If a request includes the name of a current ARC College of Experts member, as listed on the ARC website at the time of submitting the ‘Request Not to Assess’ form, the request must be accompanied by comprehensive evidence justifying the request for the ARC College of Experts member or members named. If the ARC considers the evidence is not sufficient for the named ARC College of Experts member or members, the ARC may reject part, or all of the request.

Establishment Grants for ARC DECRA

Establishment Grants are internal University of Melbourne grants that support ARC DECRA recipients at the university. To be eligible for Chancellery support, matching funding must be provided by the host department/school/faculty on a 1:1 basis. Applications for Establishment Grants should be request at the ARC DECRA proposal stage. Each faculty has their own internal requirements to apply for this grant. Please refer to  the  establishment grant page for details on how to apply.

RESEARCH OUTPUTS

Uploading research outputs to ARC RMS for ARC grant applications

Research outputs must first be added to an applicant's ARC Research Management System (RMS) profile before they can be selected for inclusion on an application. The University's recommended approach is to export research outputs from Minerva Elements as a BibTeX file and then import this file into RMS to achieve best data integrity.

See the information guide for the latest step-by-step guide: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/n65r

Please contact your local Faculty Research Office or Publication Coordinator for help with the process or to amend data in Minerva Elements. Faculty contacts:  http://go.unimelb.edu.au/y85r

Information sessions:​ Uploading research outputs to ARC RMS for ARC grant applications

  • Research outputs and the ARC RMS - 14 January 2020 - Slides - Video

These sessions will demonstrate the University’s recommended approach to adding your research outputs to your ARC Research Management System (RMS) profile.  There will also be a Q & A segment. ​

Eligibility

How to apply

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI)

    The NOI should be completed early to provide RIC with DECRA candidate contact details and to ensure the candidate is added to the email list. There is no deadline for submission of the NOI.

  2. Update RMS profile

    Candidates must obtain access to RMS and update their profile information (see RMS information)

  3. Review documentation

    Review the Grant Guidelines, the Instructions to Applicants and the Changes documents.

  4. Complete the draft application

    Log on to RMS to complete the draft application.

  5. Statement by the Administering Organisation

    Work on the Statement with your supervisor and department/faculty. The Head of Department must certify the Statement by Administering Organisation Coversheet before submission to RIC. Please see Faculty specific review instructions here.

  6. Eligibility Exemption Request

    If applicable, complete the Eligibility Exemption Request form. This is a spreadsheet that details career interruptions for applicants whose PhD was awarded prior to 1 March 2016.

    This form must be sent to ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au by 15 October 2020 so that RIC can arrange for the DVC(R) to certify eligibility.

  7. Submit 'Review ready'* application to RIC

    Submit application to RIC (ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au) within the RIC internal submission period - 26-28 October 2020. Include the following:

    • An electronic copy of the complete review ready draft application downloaded as a PDF from RMS.
    • Applicants from Architecture, Building and Planning, Arts, Law, Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Veterinary and Agricultural Science please send your Statement by the Administering Organisation in a word document (using the template letterhead provided below). Email this along with your application to ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au. Applicants from all other faculties will have their statements reviewed by their faculties - see here for details.
    • D2 Statement by the Administering Organisation Coversheet, signed by Head of Department/School
    • If applicable, the applicant should include an electronic copy of the Request Not to Assess form if they would like to request the exclusion of a potential assessor.
    • *A 'review ready' draft application

      Part A - Administrative Summary

      Part B - Classifications/ Statistical Info

      Part C - Project Eligibility

      Part D - Project Description (include Project Title, Investigator/Capability, Benefit and Communication of Results. The draft may exclude the Aims and Background, Project Quality and Innovation, Feasibility, References and Acknowledgments sections).

      Part E - Project Cost

      Part F -  Participant Details including ROPE

  8. Application review

    Two RIC staff members will review the application and provide the applicant with feedback via email.

  9. Complete the application

    After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.

  10. Submit the UOM Authority to Submit form

    The Authority to Submit form must be submitted to RIC via email to ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au before 5pm 19 November 2020. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of the CI
    • Signature of the Head of Department

    Please note that we cannot arrange HoD signing for you, this must be done by the applicant. Electronic signatures are permitted.

    This is an ARC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to ARC until received.

  11. Final submission

    Before 5pm 19 November 2020, the applicant must:

    • Submit final application by clicking ‘Submit to Research Office’ in RMS
    • Email RIC (ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au) a pdf copy of the final application and a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form

    Note: Applications without a completed Authority to Submit form cannot be submitted to the ARC

  12. RIC will submit the application

    Once the application has been submitted to ARC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

Supporting documents

ARC Documents

RIC Documents

Preparing a DECRA application (UoM login required for some of the following documents. Please email ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au or your faculty research office if you require copies)

External applicants please note: If you require access to documents requiring a UoM login, please email ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au.

Seminars and Workshops

Instructional Videos

Rejoinders:

Please note: Assessor comments should only include details on the Investigator/Capability, Project Quality and Innovation, Benefit and Feasibility and Strategic Alignment. Assessors should not be commenting on Eligibility and Compliance. If you identify an assessment that contains inappropriate elements you may wish to have this reviewed by the ARC. You can do this by completing an ARC Assessment Review Request form within 3 working days after the opening of the Rejoinder period. Please note that applicants should never contact the ARC directly. Always speak to your Faculty or RIC first.

Contacts

DECRA questions and primary email
ric-arcdecra@unimelb.edu.au

Key contacts

Elizabeth Morfe+61 3 8344 2064
Alexander  Cozzolino+61 3 9035 8889

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